Crispy Salt and Pepper Abalone with Ginger-Soy and Sweet Chili Dipping Sauces
SWEET CHILI DIPPING SAUCE:
- 6 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 limes, juiced (about 1/4 cup)
GINGER-SOY DIPPING SAUCE:
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 pound abalone steaks
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
- Peanut oil, for frying
For the sweet chili dipping sauce: In a small bowl, combine the sweet chili sauce, fish sauce and lime juice. Mix well and set aside.
For the ginger-soy sauce: In another small bowl, combine the sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger. Mix well and set aside.
For the abalone: With a meat mallet, pound the abalone steaks to 1/8-inch thick, and then cut into 1/2-inch strips. On a plate, combine the cornstarch with a pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of white pepper. Heat 1/2-inch peanut oil in a wok over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, dredge the abalone strips, in batches if necessary, in the seasoned cornstarch and flash fry in the wok for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 teaspoon sea salt with 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper. Season the fried abalone with the salt and pepper mixture.
Serve the abalone on a bed of mixed greens garnished with the lemon wedges, scallions and small bowls of both dipping sauces on the side.